Initial evaluation and management of a first seizure in children

Chelse, A. B.; Kelley, K.; Hageman, J. R.; Koh, S.

Pediatr Ann. 2013 Dec 4; 42(12):244-8


The pediatrician is often the first health professional notified of a child's first seizure. First seizures cause much anxiety for parents and practitioners. Parents are frightened as they witness a paroxysmal event that involves convulsions or altered mental status, and as a result, they seek answers, reassurance, and support. Every pediatrician faces the challenge of determining whether a child who had a paroxysmal event had a seizure. Therefore, it is important for the general pediatrician to have a good understanding of the diagnosis and management of a child's first seizure. This review will discuss the definition of seizures and epilepsy, the critical questions to answer during the initial evaluation of a child's first seizure, guidance for initial management, risk factors for seizure recurrence, and the value of electroencephalography in diagnosis and treatment.

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